Enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulosic material is an essential step in the bioethanol production process. However, complete cellulose hydrolysis by cellulase is difficult due to the irreversible adsorption of cellulase onto cellulose. Thus, part of the cellulose remains in crystalline form after hydrolysis. In this study, after 96-h hydrolysis of Avicel crystalline cellulose, 47.1 % of the cellulase was adsorbed on the cellulose surface with 10.8 % crystalline cellulose remaining. In simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of 100 g/L Avicel with 1.0 filter paper unit/mL cellulase, a wild-type yeast strain produced 44.7 g/L ethanol after 96 h. The yield of ethanol was 79.7 % of the theoretical yield. On the other hand, a recombinant yeast strain displaying various cellulases, such as beta-glucosidase, cellobiohydrolase, and endoglucanase, produced 48.9 g/L ethanol, which corresponds to 87.3 % of the theoretical yield. Higher ethanol production appears to be attributable to higher efficiency of cellulase displayed on the cell surface. These results suggest that cellulases displayed on the yeast cell surface improve hydrolysis of Avicel crystalline cellulose. Indeed, after the 96-h simultaneous saccharification and fermentation using the cellulase-displaying yeast, the amount of residual cellulose was 1.5 g/L, one quarter of the cellulose remaining using the wild-type strain, a result of the alleviation of irreversible adsorption of cellulases on the crystalline cellulose.
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